View synonyms for preform


[ verb pree-fawrm; noun pree-fawrm ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to form beforehand.
  2. to determine or decide beforehand:

    to preform an opinion.

  3. to shape or fashion beforehand:

    to preform a mold.


  1. any of various uncompleted objects of manufacture after preliminary shaping.
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Other Words From

  • nonpre·formed adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of preform1

From the Latin word praefōrmāre, dating back to 1595–1605. See pre-, form


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More About Preform

What does preform mean?

As a verb, preform means to make or form something before something else happens, or during a preliminary stage. As a noun, a preform is an object in its initial form, before it is completed with additional work.

When used as a verb, preform can refer to forming an abstract thing, such as an idea or opinion, or a tangible thing, such as a sculpture, piece of clothing, or other manufactured item. When used as a noun, preform typically refers to a physical object (like that sculpture or piece of clothing) that is intended to be finished with additional crafting. It is sometimes hyphenated as pre-form.

Example: Don’t preform an opinion about Grace before you even meet her.

Where does preform come from?

Preform originally comes from the Latin word praefōrmāre, and the first records of its use come from around 1600. Preform is formed with the prefix pre-, meaning “before.”

The question is, before what? When it comes to preforming something, whether it’s a judgment or a garment, the word implies that there will be another step, or another stage in the process. If you preform an opinion, it means you have formed it before you have all relevant information. As a result, this use of the word often has a negative sense.

If you preform a sculpture, it means you make a rough shape (a preform) that you intend to continue working on. For this reason, the word is typically used by various types of artists or those who manufacture things.

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How is preform used in real life?

Preform is usually used in the context of art or manufacturing or to refer to someone who has formed a preconceived notion.




Try using preform!

Is preform used correctly in the following sentence?

This is not the finished sculpture—it is just a preform that will be further molded and added to.